Blitz Q #165: Why did Bugs Bunny NEVER take “that left turn at Albuquerque?”

I suppose this is a dual question, because the inverse would be “what would’ve happened if Bugs Bunny FINALLY took that left turn?”

I’ve always wondered that. I think half a dozen times or more you have a cartoon segment that has the ground pushed up in a path. Bugs pops out of the hole, looks around, and then gets a map and says “I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque.”

Bugs Bunny Albuquerque GIF - BugsBunny Albuquerque ...

And no, I am NOT even gonna attempt to write Bugs’ phonetic version, even though it’s far more charming.

I’ve been bugged by that since I was a kid. Seriously, what was it about Albuquerque that made him go right or up or something?

My theory is that the vicinity of Albuquerque must be a warp zone or alternate universe generator in the cartoon world.

And I don’t seem to be the only one who’s considered it!!!!

Image tagged in bugs bunny - Imgflip

Going left might’ve kept you in the normal, present US of A. When he HASN’T taken a left (every darn time), then he’s ended up in Transylvania, or a bullfighting ring in Spain (or Mexico? Been a while since I’ve seen it), Ancient Rome, Tasmania, etc. Somehow, that deviation in his tunnel direction seems to have sent him to another country or time.

I haven’t watched newer incarnations of Looney Tunes much, so maybe they’ve answered this question. I wonder if there’s a cartoon segment that has him actually taking that left at Albuquerque for once. Hmm…

Just curious, folks who’ve grown up with The Bugs, The Daffy, and the rest, have any of you wondered why Bugs never took that left turn, or what would’ve happened if he actually did for once?

Floor’s yours…

13 thoughts on “Blitz Q #165: Why did Bugs Bunny NEVER take “that left turn at Albuquerque?”

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      That’s what I figured. What’s so significant about the left turn, I wonder? I suppose it’s like one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books where Zaphod was supposed to go out the window instead of through the door, and it turned out it was because an alternate universe lay that way. Hmm…


      • Ray Laskowitz says:

        NewMexico calls itself The land of Enchantment. The locals call it The Land of Entrapment. Santa Fe calls itself The City Different. I always said, I’m from New Orleans, I’ll show you a city different. Val Kilmer was at a land commission hearing. He wanted permission to build rental cabins on his land. When he spoke, he said everybody in New Mexico is drunk. All of tis should tell you everything you need to know. Or something.


  1. buddy71 says:

    I think it’s just the name Albuquerque. I mean it wouldn’t be funny if they said salt lake City, or Denver, or even Dallas. Albuquerque is out in the middle of nowhere. Wouldn’t be as funny to say Poughkeepsie since it’s not out in the middle of nowhere. And I agree with Ray, since I’ve been through Albuquerque a few times, it is a giant truck stop with two interstates crossing there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jefferson Crutchfield says:

    The main route through Albuquerque (from 1938 until I-40 was built) was the famous US Route 66. A lot of people heading east to go to California took Route 66 to get there, and for the most part the road goes east to west, as you would expect. But in Albuquerque, the Rio Grande River goes south-to-north, and Route 66 needed to veer north for a short distance right in the middle of town before it reached a place to cross. The intersection of Central Ave (Route 66) and Rio Grande Blvd is also where the travelers needed to stay to the left in order to stay on 66 to California. But being a congested area, many drivers missed the turn, inadvertently headed north, and ended up in Santa Fe instead of California. It was such a common mistake, that Warner Brothers writers made a joke about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Awesome–I wondered if there was some historical precedent for that, but couldn’t find anything. And I’m sure everybody from that era totally got the joke. It’s just felt like some odd little thing for the rest of us.

      Oh man, I needed to read something that cool tonight. Thanks a bunch.


      • Jefferson Crutchfield says:

        You’re welcome! And thank you for bringing it up. I learned the story as a kid in the 1970s, and my family made the trip to California from the South a few times, so it was likely that driving through that intersection was what inspired my Dad to tell me about it. I was similarly inspired by your post to mark the spot on Google Maps. It has been “accepted”, but they say it will be a few days before it shows up. I also noticed that there is a police station on public land on the SW corner of Route 66 and Rio Grande Blvd that would make a mighty fine spot for a bronze statue of Bugs emerging from his hole, looking at a map. I contacted a friend at Warner Brothers Animation (I worked for Disney Animation for more than a decade), but the reception was lukewarm at best. I am going to try and work the other side by contacting the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce to see if they can find a sponsor. My WB friend and I also both know a one-time Disney sculptor artist friend that did the bronze statue of James Arness in Dodge City, KS who would be the perfect choice for executing the artwork if the money is there. It’s all pie-in-the-sky of course, but what a wonderful thing it would be if we could make it happen. Plus, it would give visitors to Albuquerque something to take selfies by when driving through on their way to California!

        Liked by 1 person

        • TheChattyIntrovert says:

          One of my bucket list items was to do old Route 66, but so little of it seems to be around. Granted, so much of it was renamed and incorporated into other systems, but unless they’ve done some major infrastructure repairs in the more out-of-the-way areas, I don’t see it happening. But I’m still looking into it, anyway, because I’m a geography nerd at heart and would love to see what it would take to at least get close (hee hee)


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